Pakistan’s obsession with religion

Nadeem Paracha laments about Pakistanis celebrating Islamic history outside Pakistan. (DAWN: Talking tall- July 10) Muslim thinkers of the sub-continent repeatedly drilled such pan-Islamism and Allama Iqbal fostered this ideology in these words:

Aik Hoon Muslim Haram Ki Pasbani Kay Liyay
Neel Kay Sahal Sey Lay Kar Tabkhake Kashgher

(I am a Muslim to protect the Sacred House from the shores of Nile to Kashgher)

If Pakistanis are obsessed with Islam, it comes as no surprise as history books are skewed and glorify only Muslim heroes. The current generation has no idea of the rich and diverse heritage of the region. When religion and culture are compartmentalized, such an anomaly is unavoidable. Islam is a universal religion and definitely permits integration of faith and culture; to expect otherwise is a dire injustice to this beautiful faith. Pakistanis must understand that by merely adopting Arab customs, they can’t be deemed better Muslims.Mogul emperors were successful in ruling India only till they valued and promoted diversity and pluralism. Inevitably such a strategy leads to harmonious coexistence amongst assorted faiths and cultures.

Unless Pakistanis comprehend this integral philosophy they are bound to remain disillusioned and in disarray. Otherwise they will lose on both fronts – religious and cultural.

Mansura B. Minhas resides in Miami, FL with her husband and three children. Mansura is a regular contributor to the Ahmadiyya Gazette, a monthly magazine of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, published from Silver Spring MD.
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